Experts to address blogs, Twitter and ethics

Social networks and technology allow almost anyone, anywhere to let the world know how they feel or share news immediately. With that same approach, businesses, governments or other groups and can easily spread the word about their latest endeavors.

Can such organizations have an ethical, responsible public communications model amidst such an abundance of immediate, often uncontrolled information?

Two public relations professionals will share their insights and opinions about public relations response and responsibility in such an environment during the Ben Bronstein Lecture in Ethics and Public Relations.

The free public event coordinated by the College of Communications begins at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 22, in HUB-Robeson Center Auditorium on the University Park campus.

The session will feature Tim O’Brien, owner of Pittsburgh-based O’Brien Communications, and Emmanuel Tchividjian, senior vice president and chief ethics officer at Ruder Finn Public Relations in New York City.

O’Brien formed his company in 2001. He has more than 25 years of corporate communications experience, including 10 years as a senior member of Ketchum Public Relations. He has particular strengths in professional services marketing, executive visibility, professional writing and media relations, and crisis and issues management.

After joining Ruder Finn in 1997, Tchividjian worked on the Government of Switzerland’s account on issues relating to WWII and the Holocaust. Before that, he worked for the Government of Switzerland and organized special media events on these same issues. He is the ethics officer of the New York Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

The Ben Bronstein Lecture in Ethics and Public Public was created with an endowment from Ben Bronstein, who graduated from Penn State in 1961 with a degree in journalism, as an addition to programming in the College of Communications that consistently stresses the importance of doing the right thing. The event will be moderated by Patrick Parsons, the Don Davis Professor of Ethical Leadership in the College of Communications.

“We take our commitment to ethics seriously,” Parsons said. “This lecture and other programs provide a way to highlight those efforts. We emphasize to our students the importance of credibility, fairness, ethics, leadership and responsibility on a daily basis.”

Alumnus Bronstein, a longtime supporter of the University, was the founding director of public relations at the Penn State College of Medicine and Hershey Medical Center and held director positions in public relations at two statewide health care associations.

Bronstein, a member of the Mount Nittany Society as a result of his lifetime contributions to the University, formerly served as president of the Lion's Paw Alumni Association and the Mount Nittany Conservancy. As an undergraduate, Bronstein was editor of the Penn State Student Handbook, a sportswriter for The Daily Collegian, secretary-treasurer of the Interfraternity Council (IFC), secretary of the IFC Board of Control (judicial/disciplinary body), president of Phi Sigma Delta social fraternity and a member of Lion's Paw and Skull and Bones senior leadership honor societies.

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Last Updated January 09, 2015